ISA survey reveals that sign, graphics and visual communications wages are up in USA

The International Sign Association (ISA – Alexandria, Virginia) has reported that sign, graphics and visual communications industry jobs in the United States pay better than average manufacturing jobs there, and overall wages have increased in recent years. That’s according to a recent ISA Wage & Benefits Survey, created for the International Sign Association by the independent research firm Association Research Incorporated.

Survey results reveal several major findings, including:

  • Average pay increases for hourly employees (5.1%) slightly outpaced increases for salaried management employees (5%) and salaried administrative and operational employees (4.8%).
  • More than 6 in 10 responding companies (63%) indicated that they plan to hire additional staff in the second half (July through December) of 2018.
  • Companies had more full-time equivalent employees (29.2) compared to the last survey in 2015 (23).
  • Almost half of sales personnel (46.7%) receive salary and commission. The average commission rate is 7.9% for new sales and 6.8% for existing sales. This was down from 2015.
  • Paid vacations, holidays and health insurance were the most frequently provided benefits for executives and managers, salaried employees and hourly employees.

Beyond those broad insights, the survey provided detailed analysis of salaries and benefits for 60 common positions in the sign, graphics and visual communications industry. These positions ranged from apprentice and data-entry clerk, up to VP and CEO levels. The data was sorted based on company size and geographic region, allowing companies to evaluate how their wages and benefits compare to their peers.

Lori Anderson.

“Knowing comparative compensation data is important for companies to stay competitive in the acquisition and retention of employees,” said Lori Anderson, ISA President and CEO. “And, at a time when retaining and finding skilled workers is an ever-growing issue in our industry, the data in this report can provide a leg up over your competitors.”

The full report, an executive summary, in-depth job descriptions and an infographic all are available (with discounts for ISA and Affiliated Association members) at

The International Sign Association (ISA) is an acknowledged leader in shaping and developing the sign, graphics,and visual communications community worldwide.





Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.